WASHINGTON (JTA) – Israeli and Palestinian leaders will meet every two weeks to advance peace talks.
George Mitchell, the senior U.S. envoy to the region, said the sides agreed to meet in the region Sept. 14-15, the first concrete outcome of renewed talks launched Thursday in Washington.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met first with Mitchell and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before moving into face-to-face talks.
In the first stage, Mitchell said, the sides would work toward a framework agreement ahead of a comprehensive agreement, which the United States wants to see within a year.
"The parties themselves agreed that the logical way to succeed, to tackle them, is to reach a framework agreement first," Mitchell said.
"It is less than a full-fledged treaty. Its purpose is to establish the compromises necessary to enable an agreement and to flesh out the issues."
Netanyahu has suggested that he does not want to make substantial concessions until an agreement is in place and security mechanisms exist that protect Israel from rocket attacks and terrorism.
Working on a framework agreement first would allow Netanyahu the room to postpone territorial concessions.